Robots Are The Future Of Retail: Marks & Spencer Follows Suit

  • By carabernstein
  • in
  • on September 5, 2018

The burning question right now for retailers is, “will robots take over?”

The UK retailer, Marks & Spencer, answered yes to this question! They will soon be replacing their call center staff with an AI system. This will remove over 100 employees from the switchboard and place them in customer-facing roles in stores. Voice calls will be forwarded to the correct department or contact with 90% accuracy and the AI system will work with 640 stores. We should expect to see this in full action by end of September.

The company partnered with Twilio, who had already created a system for Marks & Spencer responding to a customer call and routing in the right direction. But now, the service will be much more than that. Through the Twilio Programmable SMS, there will be delivery status updates through text message. The concept took less than six months to launch and will let the store analyze customer intent in real time. This automation is extremely helpful considering the system can track over 12 million customer interactions annually.

“We were able to prototype a solution in just four weeks and put it to the test during our busiest retail days of the year. The new solution has given Marks & Spencer an improved ability to have more direct and meaningful conversations with our customers, which also helps us reallocate valuable staff time.” Chris McGrath

Will retailers go full time robot? Likely not. The team knows that there are some customers who still prefer human interaction. This request clearly cannot be ignored. A few years back, Morrisons, the largest chain of supermarkets in the US, went full time robot and quickly reverted back to to human cashiers. They realized customers truly did enjoy everyday interactions with people, seeing familiar faces and also receiving shopping assistance.

The Benefits

With the Marks & Spencer/Twilio collab, the store will be able to handle over 1 million inbound calls a MONTH! Twilio has a Speech Recognition tool which will also be used, so there will be a transcription of customer’s conversation into text. Marks & Spencer can also now analyze the voice in real time. With this system, a caller’s intent is also going to be determined. The company will use Google DialogFlow integration and figure out specifically why a customer is calling. And of course, routed calls will be extremely helpful in order to direct people to the right department, store or contact.

Leave a Reply

PUBLISHED BY carabernstein

View all posts by carabernstein

Related Posts

Healthcare

InterSystems Proven Scalability for Health and Care

InterSystems Proven Scalability for Health and Care For large healthcare delivery systems, software scalability is critical. As organizations grow, they need data to flow seamlessly across their health IT systems to provide a unified care record, and for analytics that span the care continuum. However, many first-generation data-sharing initiatives fail to address fundamental technical challenges, […]

Healthcare

How to Stay Motivated While Self-Isolating and Social Distancing

This article was contributed by Thelis Negron, Founder of MBX – The Mind and Body Experience. How can you help yourself stay motivated while self-isolating? Here are a few helpful tips to keep you focused on staying healthy and positive: We have entered unchartered territory. For most of us, staying completely confined to our homes […]

#MillenniumLive , Marketing , Podcast

Exponea’s Scott McNabb Talks CDP on #MillenniumLive

Scott McNabb, SVP and General Manager of the Americas at Exponea, sat down with us for an episode of #MillenniumLive at the Digital Marketing and Digital Retail Transformation Assembly earlier this month. Scott discusses the challenges marketers face with changing consumer behavior and disjointed technology stacks, and how Exponea uses AI to make sense of […]

Technology

ZOOM into the New Reality…and What Really Matters

As originally published by David Sable on Linkedin. Make no mistake…this too shall pass (I, for one, have just graduated from social isolation to social distancing), and by the end of it, we will be stronger (hopefully), knowing that we got through it. We will be smarter (I pray), knowing that we can no longer […]

Lovin’ Digital Diary?

Premium content to our readers interested in all things business.

Check Us Out!

Millennium Membership offers Fortune 1000 C-Level executives, leading public sector/government officials, and thought leaders across a variety of disciplines unique and exclusive opportunities to meet their peers, understand industry developments, and receive introductions to new technology and service advancements to help grow their career and overall company value.

About Millenium Alliance Next

About Digital Diary

Created to provide premium content to our readers interested in all things business.

Launched in 2017, Digital Diary was created to provide premium content to our readers interested in all things business. With our blogs catered to deliver the top news stories, trends, and interviews from across all industries.

Read all story Next

Interested in Millennium Membership?
Find out if you qualify here.

arrow